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Friday, May 11, 2018

Co-Lab Design

Thanks to a local WPSF grant, our team will purchase tables for one of the three classrooms that students learn in. Essentially that room will become a co-lab, a place for collaborative learning. As I think about the end-days of school and the need to pack-up, clean-up, and ready for the year ahead, I'm thinking about what that new room will look like.

Co-Lab Table Spaces
Each co-lab team will have a table space. That space will include table, seating, and a white board or bulletin board to work with as they problem solve, complete projects, and design. I will need to order or find two new bulletin boards--I think I've seen some around the school that are unused.

Meeting Space
There will be a meeting space in the center with our comfy chairs, one or two rugs, and other seating. This will be the meeting and presentation space.

Supply Shelves
Throughout the room there will be a number of supply shelves and cabinets, and hopefully, with the exception of a file cabinet and locked cabinet, students will be able to access material freely from those areas as they learn.

Student Drawers
Every child that learns in the room will have a drawer for their individual supplies. The drawers will be numbered with a letter and number so that the drawers can be assigned year after year.

Main Supplies
The room will include the following supplies:
  • Everyday Supplies: pencils, colored pencils, scissors, rulers, glue, tape, pencil sharpener, erasers, markers, staplers, hole punchers, sharpie pens
  • Math Supplies: calculators, blocks, number cards, charts. . .
  • Science/STEAM Supplies: paint, planting materials, chemistry supplies, containers, duct tape, clay, string, cups, recyclables, marshmallows, spaghetti, fish tank supplies, . .
  • Paper: lined paper, graph paper, colored paper, card stock, note cards, folders
  • Books: science/math books, chapter books, picture books
  • Games and Computers
  • Teacher notes and information 
To make the room an active co-lab means that I'll have to get rid of some of the furniture currently in the room such as the kidney table and teachers' desk. Instead I'll use a stand-up desk and also have a stand-up desk for any teaching assistants assigned to the room. 

Also as part of getting the new furniture, I've offered my room as an after school maker space of sorts, so I won't keep too many personal items in there. Ideally, like our high school, we would also have office areas where we could keep our professional books and supplies, but that's not the case at this time. I may be able to make a space for that at home.

As teaching and learning changes so does our need to update our learning and teaching spaces. I'm excited about this change.